17 Essential Survival Skills Every American Should Know

When it comes to life or death situations, it can be crucial that you have the right skills to survive. Many overlook the necessity of having the right knowledge of how to deal with certain scenarios. Here are 17 essential survival skills every American should know.

Mastering Basic First Aid

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Unfortunately, a good number of us don’t know how to perform basic first aid. According to the American Red Cross, “Most of these life-saving measures don’t require you to have any professional medical background.” Learning the basics of first aid can literally save someone’s life.

Starting a Fire Without Matches

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One day, you might find yourself in an unexpected incident where you need to light a fire to keep warm. If you don’t have matches, you can find it hard. You have to make use of the resources around you and try to use materials that will create friction, giving you a possible spark.

Finding and Purifying Water

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When lost in the outdoors, many people’s first step should be to find water. You want to be on the lookout for lakes, usually on lower ground, or streams that will be flowing downhill. Once you’ve found a water source, you want to boil it to ensure it’s purified and safe to drink.

Building an Emergency Shelter

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In an emergency situation, building a shelter to protect you from the elements can be one of the best things you can do. You need to utilize the materials in your environment. You want to use branches and debris to build a foundation and focus on leaves for insulation to protect you from the weather.

Effective Food Foraging

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If you find yourself lost in the outdoors and low on food, it’s unlikely you’ll be successful in hunting animals unless you have previous experience. The next best edible source may be flowers or insects. It’s crucial that you only consume safe plants and insects, so carrying a field guide would be recommended.

Basic Fishing Skills

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There are a few ways you can fish, depending on the resources you have. You can use a fishing line if you have one, but a shoelace will work as a makeshift line if you have a hook on it. Also, sharpening wood to create a spear will be an effective way to fish in shallow waters.

Navigating Without GPS

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Even with today’s technology and having a GPS on your phone, it’s crucial to carry a map and compass in case your phone dies or you lose signal. GPS Technologies reports that most people don’t actually know how to navigate without a GPS. It’s best to ensure your navigation skills are at a good level before you leave the house.

Signaling for Help

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When in need of some help, it’s vital that you know how to signal for help so people can locate you correctly. There are various ways, first of all vocally by shouting for help or using a whistle if you have one. Also, you can use mirrors to reflect light or start a fire in an open area.

Managing Hypothermia and Heat Stroke

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If you have been out lost in the elements for a while, then there are higher chances you may develop medical issues. Hypothermia and heat stroke can be common among those who love the outdoors. It’s important to wear the correct clothing before heading out, to remain hydrated, and to shelter yourself from the weather where possible.

Self-Defense Basics

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Knowing the basics of self-defense is something that all people should have as a skill. This can easily save your life one day, and you could find yourself using it in many circumstances. Self-defense will protect you from other people, but it could also protect you against some animals that are looking to attack.

Packing an Emergency Kit

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If you’re going on a hike, camping, or any outdoor activity, it’s recommended to pack an emergency kit, as you never know when you may need it. As mentioned by Ready, it’s important to carry basics such as food, water, a first aid kit, flashlights, and a whistle.

Psychological Resilience in Emergencies

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This is hard to master, as you never know how you’ll react or feel in an emergency situation. However, you can practice decision-making under pressure and develop stress management techniques. These may one day save your life if you’re able to think calmly and clearly in an emergency.

Handling Natural Disasters

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We can never predict when a natural disaster will strike, but we should prepare ourselves so we’re ready if one does occur. Adjusters International reports that generic items such as food, water, emergency funds, and disaster kits should be prepared in advance. You should also know all of your emergency evacuation routes for a quick escape.

Wilderness Travel Skills

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When going on a long hike or camping trip, the first thing you should always do before you head out is tell someone your exact route and itinerary. This can be crucial to locating you if you become lost or cut off from the rest of the world.

Technological Preparedness

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Most of us use technology to get us through our everyday lives. It’s even the most used tool now for outdoor adventures. So it’s essential that you pack portable chargers in case your phone runs out. Also, make sure you have backup essentials such as a whistle and a map in case your technology lets you down.

Creating Makeshift Tools

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If you’re lost in the outdoors, then creating makeshift tools could be essential for you to protect yourself from any animals but also to help build anything you need to survive. Using stones can help you carve wood into spears or knives to help you hunt or as a weapon to protect yourself.

Handling Wildlife Encounters

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If you’re heading out on an expedition, it’s best that you research the wildlife you may encounter on your trip before you leave. This will allow you to understand how best to deal with certain animals if you cross them and avoid any potential attacks.

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17 States Americans No Longer Want to Live In

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17 Things That Are Sadly Disappearing From Everyday Life

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15 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Not a Good Person

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